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Categories and Tags: multiselect, rename and numbers

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crazyray54
(@crazyray54)
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First of all, let me say I really love Unify. I have been looking at it for a year but didn't see the added value. But now that I have a Linnstrument I took the plunge, and man, is it awesome. It is really (becoming) what Akai VIP was supposed to be.

There were some features in VIP that would really improve Unify.

  1. VIP shows the number of patches available for a particular tag (plugin, instrument, timbre, style and articulation). That would be helpful. Tags that have no patches are greyed out.
  2. VIP allows renaming of a tag by right-clicking it. This would make it easy, for instance, to rename KEYS to KEY if there are inconsistencies.
  3. Multiselect is now and OR operator, whereas in VIP it's an AND operator. I believe I read something about that in the past. Is this a design decision? For me, AND would be more useful.

   
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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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@crazyray

Good points, thank you. I hope to do a major overhaul of Unify's patch database and browser eventually, but this is an enormous job.

Regarding OR/AND: yes, it was a design decision, which turned out to be a poor choice. I've looked into providing an AND option, but there are many ramifications, so it will have to be done very carefully and hence will takes extra time.


   
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crazyray54
(@crazyray54)
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@getdunne

I would like to make another, related suggestion. Akai VIP uses four tags: Instrument, Timbre, Style and Articulation. To me, these make a lot of sense in searching for the right sound, but they could use some work.

Instrument is more or less what Unify now has as Category. To me it would make sense if this tag would only include the base sound. The Patch Naming Guidelines are wonderful in this regard. Then, I would move categories like Ambient, Mallet and MPE to a different tag, which VIP calls Style (Arturia too). These include Acoustic, Ambient, Analog, Chords, etc.

Timbre describes a sound further. I find it a really good tag so I would love to have this implemented in Unify. However, but VIP has way too many Timbre types. So I made some efforts to come up with exclusive pairs because there were so many it did not make sense. For instance:

  • Bright vs Dark to describe the top end of a sound
  • Thin vs Fat to describe the bottom end
  • Clean vs Distorted
  • Dry vs Wet
  • Moving vs Static

I have rarely used Articulation myself, but maybe it is useful for others.

I understand this would take a lot of work. In the end, I think it would make Unify very powerful. I would be happy to help thinking about the best categories and help make the Patch Naming Guidelines more complete.


For Instrument and Timbre, NI Komplete Kontrol uses a different method. Here, Instrument is called Type, and, once a Type is selected, subtypes show up. For instance, selecting Bass shows Analog Bass, Bass Line, Digital Bass, etc. (see here). I think this is much more difficult to implement and keep up to date, but I would just like to put it out there :).

Arturia use Type to describe the main instrument, and then Style, Genre and Characteristic to describe it further. But I find their distinction between Style and Characteristic somewhat vague.

This post was modified 10 months ago by crazyray54

   
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getdunne
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@crazyray54

I agree with everything you suggest, but bear in mind that updating the Unify software to support such features is perhaps 5% of the work required. Updating every already-published library to add the new tags, and ensuring that every new library also has them (until the end of time) is the hard part. I honestly don't think it will be cost-effective.


   
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karlfranz
(@karlfranz)
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@getdunne

tldr; Here are some suggestions to make the other 95% of the effort more cost-effective.

As the list of randomly descriptive categories & tags continues to grow by leaps and bounds, I have found the ability to search for presets using them has become a meaningless and futile endeavor.

To that end, every time I purchase or download a new "Unified" library, I have gone through the effort of retagging each preset when I add it to my database. Yes, I am that OCD. 😉  To date, I have gone through all of my 21,000 Unify presets and re-categorized/re-tagged them into something that makes more sense to me. I have gotten rid of all the "fluffy" descriptive tags and stuck to a more rigid, reasonable, yet comprehensive series of terms that make it more useful to track down a specific preset. Of course, these would be even more helpful if the search terms were treated as an AND search as I have discussed in other threads.

I'm willing to send you a copy of my "presets.db" file as a starting ground toward any effort in updating the official libraries. However, it would require John and others to have the discipline to stick with a restrained set of terms going forward and not fall back into the practice of tagging presets with terms like "Spooky and Scary" or "Mysterious and Macabre", etc. 

As I have stated earlier, I have adopted the practice of treating the "category" field as "Instrument" and the "tags" field as "Attributes".

Here is the result of a Distinct query of each of these columns in the DB:

Instruments

BASS, BELL, BRASS, CELLO, CHOIR, CLAP, CLAVINET, CYMBAL, DRONE, DROP, DRUM, ELECTRIC PIANO, ENVIRONMENTAL, EXPLORE, FLUTE, GUITAR, HARP, HARPSICHORD, HIHAT, HIT, HORN, HYBRID, INIT, KEYBOARD, KICK, LEAD, MALLET, MANDOLIN, NOISE, ORCHESTRA, ORGAN, PAD, PERCUSSION, PIANO, PLUCK, PULSE, RISER, SHAKER, SNARE, SONG, SOUND FX, STAB, STRINGS, SWEEP, SWELL, SYNTH, TEMPLATE, TEXTURE, TOM, TRANSITION, TRUMPET, VIOLIN, VOCAL, VOCODER, VOX, WHISTLE, WIND, WOODWINDS, WORLD
 
Attributes
303, 808, ACOUSTIC, AMBIENT, ANALOG, ARP, ATMOSPHERIC, ATTACK, BPM, CHORD, CHORUSED, CLEAN, COMBOBOX, DELAY, DETUNED, DIGITAL, DISTORTED, ELECTRIC, ENSEMBLE, ENVIRONMENTAL, EVOLVING, EXPLORE, FACTORY, FM, FORMANT, GATE, GLIDE, GRANULAR, GROOVE, HARMONIC, INIT, KIT, LATCH, LEGATO, LFO, LOFI, LOOP, MACRO, MENU, MIDIBOX, MONOPHONIC, MPE, MULTI, MUTED, O2 MULTI, PHRASE, POLYBOX, POLYPHONIC, PROCESSED, PULSING, REVERSED, RX2, SEQUENCE, SHIMMER, SIDECHAIN, SPLIT, STAB, STACK, STRUMMED, SUB, SWEEP, SWELL, SYNC, TEMPLATE, TRANSITION, UNTAGGED, WAH, WAVESEQUENCE, WAVETABLE, WOBBLE
 
Also, if you ever provide a command to load a preset based on the Library and Preset names as I outlined in my OSC wishlist, I might just make my own touchscreen-based preset navigator by querying the database myself. I have already created a pair of dialog boxes with checkboxes for each of the terms listed above using Keyboard Maestro. This can be called up whenever the Unify "Save" dialog displayed. It allows me to pick from a predefined list and then populates the respective Category and Tags fields in the Save dialog. This serves two purposes for me. 1) It's easier to pick terms from a list rather than trying to make them up on the fly; and 2) It ensures that all my terms are consistent (All-Caps, no miss-spelling, plural vs. singular, etc.)
 
I think something similar could be implemented within Unify itself. The Instrument (category) and Attribute (tags) fields in the Save As dialog could be made read only and a "..." button next to each field would popup the dialog to allow the terms to be selected. There could even be an option to make the fields read/write for those diehard users who insist on using their own unique terms that don't follow the standard. Or, perhaps, you could re-purpose the mostly-unused "genre" field to be for user tags instead.
 
~food for thought...

   
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Robert.P
(@robert-p)
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Posted by: @karlfranz

 

(...) it would require John and others to have the discipline to stick with a restrained set of terms going forward and not fall back into the practice of tagging presets with terms like "Spooky and Scary" or "Mysterious and Macabre", etc. 

Yes, but how to reconcile the discipline of tagging with the artistic creativity needed to create all those patches;) 


   
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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @karlfranz

I'm willing to send you a copy of my "presets.db" file as a starting ground toward any effort in updating the official libraries. However, it would require John and others to have the discipline...

 Your dedication is impressive, and your feedback is useful, but respectfully, we will decide what we are "required" to do.

if you ever provide a command to load a preset based on the Library and Preset names as I outlined in my OSC wishlist, I might just make my own touchscreen-based preset navigator by querying the database myself.

That's exactly what I intend to do. Please be patient; I have other priorities to juggle.

The Instrument (category) and Attribute (tags) fields in the Save As dialog could be made read only and a "..." button next to each field would popup the dialog to allow the terms to be selected.

Excellent idea; I've put it on the to-do list. The effort required to design and implement this is not small.


   
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thsve
(@thsve)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 308
 
Posted by: @karlfranz

if you ever provide a command to load a preset based on the Library and Preset names as I outlined in my OSC wishlist, I might just make my own touchscreen-based preset navigator by querying the database myself.

 

You can do that in my app/program, UNIFY - Patch Loader, by filter on Library and Name and Load or Embed selected patch from result list (Windows and Unify standalone only):  https://forums.pluginguru.com/welcome/unify-patch-loader/#post-12857

Win 10 and 11/Cubase Pro 12/Unify/Wavelab 8/Vienna Pro 7/Spectrasonics all/NI 13 Ultimate/Izotope MPS2/Serum/Cthulhu/Scaler 2.5/MusicLab guitar vsts/BIAB 2022/TouchOSC/Metagrid Pro etc


   
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